It’s Friday morning as I write this and the news reports tell me that large groups of people took to the streets in 12 American cities last night to protest the election of Donald Trump as President. It was the second night in a row and some of the protests turned destructive. Let’s explore.

I defend Americans’ rights of assembly, association and self-expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment. One of the lessons that we learned from Dr. King is that while protests/demonstrations do not solve problems they bring attention to them. A point where I differ with a lot of people who I agree with politically is the use of and the tactics deployed during demonstrations. Now that I have that all off my chest I want to specifically address the current demonstrations and Trump’s reaction to them.

Trump’s election was a bombshell in America. If there is anyone who is unaware of it they won’t be paying attention to the reports of the demonstrations either which makes me question just what the demonstrators think they are achieving.

There have been reports of property damage during some of the demonstrations. That is never to be condoned or tolerated! I hope the perpetrators are arrest, tried, convicted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Our First Amendment rights are to be cherished and exercised but certainly not abused.

Most, (but certainly not all), of the protesters are young people. Young Americans are the most likely group to either not vote or vote for third party candidates with no chance of winning in order to cast a protest vote. If you did not vote or cast a third party vote you are part of the problem and have no right to complain except into the mirror. Numbers are yet to be finalized – much will be written of them later here and elsewhere – but many states were decided by narrow margins smaller than the third party vote. We need more data before we can draw solid conclusions but on the surface the preliminary numbers demand scrutiny.

Last night the President-elect took to his favorite form of communication (Twitter) to comment on the protests. The use of the 140 character limited Twitter is perfect for a man who appears to be incapable of speaking in complete sentences. He tweeted: “Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incite by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

I guess the rigged system is only rigged when The Donald doesn’t get his way. Trump has no evidence to support his claim that the protesters are being paid in some organized effort. In fact, anecdotal evidence is all to the contrary. Perhaps he can get Jimmy O’Keefe to slice and splice some tape to support his claim. Hey, a pimp suit would add to the color of the protests. I don’t know what media Trump is referring to but I haven’t seen any calls to the streets from any media I pay attention to; remember I’m left of center.

If you are truly upset by Trump’s election (as I believe the protesters sincerely are) then you need to make sure you vote in 2018 and better yet work for candidates you believe in. A progressive falloff in voter participation in the mid-term elections will only strengthen Trump’s hand. Don’t waste energy by acting after the horse has left the barn; be pro-active.

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